28 February 2010

Father Corapi talks about health

Father John Corapi recently released a YouTube video in which he talks a little bit about his own health and about the stewardship each person must exercise regarding his/her own health. This link will lead you to his "words of wisdom":

Father Corapi on health

Lenten Reflection

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M., offers a reflection, "Lent Is a Catholic Thing," on YouTube:

Father Greg Friedman: "Lent Is a Catholic Thing"

Among other things, Lent is supposed to be a time when we re-affirm our Christian mission, no matter what our individual vocations may be. The various Sunday and daily readings are designed, at least in part, to help us do just that. How am I using the opportunities that are available to me this Lenten season? How can I improve my efforts? Am I allowing the Lord to work in my life during this holy season?

27 February 2010

Sing Praise to the Lord!

"Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name; make known among the peoples his deeds! Sing praise, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds! Glory in his holy name; rejoice O hearts that seek the Lord! Rely on the mighty Lord; constantly seek his face." - Psalm 105:1-4

26 February 2010

Enjoying New England's Weather

One of the things I love about New England is the variety of weather we get, and I was reminded of that last night. I was heading home via bus in what the National Weather Service was calling “squally weather,” and I just missed a connection that would have brought me relatively close to home.

I could have waited about 45 minutes or so for another bus on the same route, but I chose to take an earlier bus heading to downtown Pawtucket and get off at a point where the walk would have been a little over a mile and a half.

The walk was definitely filled with wind and rain – even one of my boots ended up with an inch of water in it, and I did enjoy it (although  I forgot to do my “Singing in the Rain”).

A prayer I usually offer when I’m out, no matter what the weather is: "Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to be out enjoying/experiencing Your creation. May I join with it in singing Your praises and giving You honor and glory."

Mark Twin has often been quoted in reference to the variety of weather in New England. This link will lead to the transcript of a speech he delivered at the New England Society's annual dinner in New York City on 22 December 1876:

Mark Twain's speech on New England weather

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways." - James 1:2-8

25 February 2010

Reflection on "no effort to assist others is ever wasted"

Today's "Three Minutes a Day" reflection from The Christophers is entitled "A Wealth of Weather History," and it reads:

"People have climbed to the National Weather Service’s station near the upstate New York Mohonk Mountain House resort for 112 years. Since the hotel opened, weather observers have recorded local temperatures and weather conditions, and recurring natural events, such as bird migrations and foliage trends.

"The recorders also recorded a wealth of local history, as well as insight into larger trends and shifts in weather patterns. Their data offers today’s scientists intriguing indicators on overall climate change and its effects. Some of the data may, for example, be useful in gauging and forecasting global warming trends. Yet, those who recorded the information likely had no idea their notations would assist researchers decades later.

"Every act you undertake to help others makes a difference. No effort to assist others is ever wasted."

This serves as a good reminder to me that all my little efforts often have consequences far beyond what I am aware of. A smile can trigger another smile, which can trigger another smile, and on and on. On the other hand, a comment sent forth in anger can trigger a similar series of unpleasant feelings.

Sometimes our efforts at doing well whatever is before us have unintended good consequences. I'm reminded of a cartoon I saw many years ago (a Tom & Jerry one, I believe). The cat (Tom) was chasing the mouse (Jerry) over shelves in a restaurant, and, as they were approaching a gap in the shelves, a waiter "happened" to pass by with a tray being held high in his hand. Jerry was able to race over the tray and escape from Tom. It's a good reminder that many times we may assist someone without even being aware of it.

24 February 2010

Meditation Starter

American Catholic's "Minute Meditation for today: "Hitting people over the head with the words of truth will not convert them. God is love, and He desires that we become good disciples." – taken from To Be Like Jesus: Inspiration From the Gospel of Luke, by Ann Shields, S.G.L.

23 February 2010

Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) last week announced that, while only 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, they are involved in 79 percent of home heating fire deaths. (This is from the NFPA report, Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment. NFPA also said in this report that heating equipment continues to be the second leading cause of home fires behind cooking and the second leading cause of home fire deaths behind smoking.

I've had personal experience with a space heater fire. When our kids were small, a small electric space heater was in use in the living on a cold winter day, and a hassock was pushed against it and started to catch fire. Fortunately I noticed the smoke, and carried the hassock into the shower and gave it a good dousing.  I was very blessed that I caught it in time. As a fire photographer over the years, I have been to a number of serious fires which were caused by heating equipment, and I am grateful that our incident was just a learning experience, not a tragedy. Thank you, Lord.

The NFPA is urging caution and asking the public to practice safe heating behaviors as the peak time for home heating fires continues.  Among their tips:

   ~ Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires
         and space heaters.
   ~ All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn,
        such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away
        from heating equipment.
   ~ Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized
        testing laboratory.
   ~ Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
   ~ Use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic
        shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
   ~ Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
   ~ Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into
        an extension cord.
   ~ Inspect for cracked, damaged, or broken plugs
        or loose connections. Replace before using.

"Serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received."

A reminder from The Christophers "Three Minutes a Day" reflection for today: "Serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received." (1 Peter 4:10) I am truly blessed with a number of gifts, internal and external. May I embrace and live this admonition ever more fully in each of the circumstances in which our Lord has led or placed me.

22 February 2010

Inspired Decisions

Today's "Thee Minutes a Day" reflection from The Christophers reminds me that I can make decisions that are guided by the Holy Spirit. Some of the tips:
   ~ Pray about the decision, including asking why I want to do what
       I am thinking about and asking to be led in the right way for
       myself and my loved ones.
   ~ If I am tired or under pressure, do not make significant decisions
       – emergencies excepted.
   ~ Prioritize my decisions. Some may be more urgent than others.

The reflection's prayer: "Inspire my decisions, Holy Wisdom." Thank you, Lord.

21 February 2010

Message of Pope Benedict XVI for Lent 2010

The message of Pope Benedict XVI for Lent 2010:

"Each year, on the occasion of Lent, the Church invites us to a sincere review of our life in light of the teachings of the Gospel. This year, I would like to offer you some reflections on the great theme of justice, beginning from the Pauline affirmation: 'The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ' (cf. Rm 3, 21-22)."

To continue reading his message, click on this link:
2010 Lenten Message of Pope Benedict XVI
Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; cry out to the rock of our salvation. Let us greet him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms. - Psalm 95:1-2

20 February 2010

"Cry out to God, all the earth; sing psalms to the glory of his name, give him all glory and praise." – from Psalm 66